Social Studies Takes the Stage

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  • 1. Social StudiesTakes the Stage:Creative Drama in the Social StudiesClassroom
    Presented by Betsey
  • 2. Presentation Materials
    Available at:
  • 3. WhatisCreative Drama?
    • An improvisational, process-centered form of theatre in which participants are guided by a leader to enact real or imagined experiences
  • What Isn’t Creative Drama?
    Focused on the product
    Performed for an audience
  • 4. Creative Drama
  • 5. Why Use Creative Drama?
    Stimulates the imagination and promotes creative thinking
    Develops critical thinking skills
    Promotes language development
    Strengthens comprehension and learning retention by involving the senses
    • Increases empathy and awareness of others
    • 6. Fosters peer respect and group cooperation
    • 7. Reinforces positive self-concept
  • Theater Games
    Used for warm-ups
    Can be connected to content
  • 8. Anything Fabric
    Pass a piece of fabric (or another object) around the circle.
    Each student demonstrates one thing the fabric could be.
    Content Connection:
    How could a pioneer/Pilgrim/soldier have used this item?
  • 9. The What?
    Pass an object (such as a globe or map) around the circle
    Students follow the pattern as they pass the object
    This is the equator.
    The equator.
    The equator.
    The what?
    The what?
    Oh! The equator.
  • 10. You Can’t Take Me
    Scenario: Someone is going on a trip and can only pack items that fit into a certain category.
    Give students a category.
    Most students pantomime something that may or may not fit into that category.
    A small group observes the mimes and tries to select the people they can “pack.”
  • 11. Tableaux
    Frozen Picture
    Often used as a starting point before an improvisation
  • 12. Tableaux in Action
  • 13. Tableaux Possibilities
    Vocabulary Guessing Game
    Tableaux Timeline
    Talking Tableaux
  • 14. Narrative Pantomime
    Someone reads or tells a story with lots of action as others mime
    Possible Uses:
    Important Historical Events
    Picture Books
    Audio from Historical Recreations
  • 15. Memories of Narrative Pantomime
    “The Union owned Fort Sumter until the Confederates attacked.There weren’t that many soldiers for either side. When shots were fired, people who lived on the coast watched the battle. The Union thought they were doomed because they were running out of supplies. Because shots were being fired, the Union troops couldn’t get to their supply room. Two supply boats were supposed to come but they couldn’t make it. They just sat on the water because it was too risky. The fort was on fire and there were almost explosions from the gun powder. The Union was out of supplies and surrendered.”
    -5th Grade Student
    7 months after pantomime
  • 16. Improvisation
    Scenes are created as you go
    Role playing is important
    Easy way to integrate language arts
  • 17. Improv Possibilities
    Talking Artifacts
    Character Conversations
    Character Interviews
    The Hat Makes the Man
  • 18. "I can teach them math until I am blue in the face, but this [drama experience] is what they will hold in their hearts years from now." – Anonymous
  • 19. Presentation Materials
    Available at: